Many of us have a hard time writing or talking about ourselves. It’s instinctive. Most people see any type of positive speaking on themselves as bragging, gloating, or the newest one, “humble-bragging”.

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A lot of us write because we have low self-esteem to begin with, and talking about ourselves is far harder than talking about our characters. Yet, no matter what you do, if you take writing seriously eventually you will need an author biography.

So, what do you do? Panic? Recruit others? Ignore it until it goes away? None of the above! We promise, writing a professional biography is not as hard as we all make it out to be. Below, we’ll list some ideas, as well as some examples of biographies. 

1- Always speak in 3rd person. The biography is meant to make a person read it as if someone else is speaking. If you head to a library or bookstore and check the dust jackets, very few biographies will have 1st person perspective. That’s not to say it can’t be done, but when people are used to seeing 3rd person, a 1st person biography might seem rather jarring.

2- Figure out your tone. How do you want to come across? Do you want to sound funny, likable? Relatable or professional? Intelligent or witty? A lot of times, this is aided by the genre that you write. Non-fiction reference books should probably not make their author come across as a comedian unless they already are and it’s a biography. Romance should probably have a touch of humor, while horror authors might want to try for a drier, wittier tone.

3- Share your work. If you have published other works, a lot of times the biographies should carry references to your other work. If your books are non-fiction or reference books, share your credentials, show the readers why you are credible and qualified to write on this topic.  If you’re working on multiple things at once, let readers know that too!

4- Add personality. No matter what you are writing about, your readers want to know a little about you, so that they can relate to you. Do you love animals? Have a house of rambunctious kids? Love living green, keep weekends busy with Renaissance faires? Whatever makes you a special, unique snowflake, this is the time to share it. Also be sure to share your location, if you live in a seaside town or a picturesque mountain valley, that’s interesting! Besides that, many bloggers love highlighting authors that are from their hometown, so sharing this information on in your biography can help local readers and businesses find you.

Examples:

Horror- Annie Neugebauer is a short story author, novelist, and award-winning poet. She has work appearing or forthcoming in over forty venues, including Black Static, Fireside, and Buzzy Mag. When she’s not frightening strangers with her writing, she’s most likely frightening her husband and their two mischievous cats. You can visit her at www.AnnieNeugebauer.com.

Crime- Margaret Piton has been a journalist, English teacher and university lecturer in journalism and political science. Russia and crime fiction are among her passions. When not writing, she can be found reading the novels of Martin Cruz Smith and the early work of John Le Carre. 

Non-Fiction– Like most writers, Sandy McMillen leads a triple life. By day she is a training development manager for a large telecommunications company, by night a wife and companion to her husband Tom, the mother of four grown children, and the grandmother of the most exceptionally beautiful little girl on the planet. At night and on the weekends, she writes stories chronicling the many travel adventures she and her husband Tom have experienced. Her stories are genuine and heartfelt, as she captures the touching, informative and humorous perspectives of traveling throughout the world. 

Romance- Ayesha Sadaf Kamal is a software engineer turned copywriter. She is a Space Cadet, a dreamer and proud mother of one. Freelancing as a copywriter for a living, she is a hopeless romantic at heart. She puts her passion, love, joys and sorrows into her words and hopes that her readers feel the same joy that she does when writing romance. 

Children’s- ANN WHITFORD PAUL graduated from the University of Wisconsin and Columbia University School of Social Work. She became inspired to write picture books after years of bedtime reading to her four children. She’s published 19 different award-winning books. Now she gets story ideas from her three grandchildren. For ten years she taught picture book writing through UCLA Extension. She still enjoys teaching how to write picture books. When she isn’t writing or teaching, she loves listening to her cat purr, watching spiders spin their webs and following snails’ trails. You can learn more about her, download writing tips and classroom activities, and contact her through her web-site: www.annwhitfordpaul.net. 

Young Adult- The #1 New York Times bestselling author, Sherrilyn Kenyon, who is proud of her mixed Cherokee heritage, lives a life of extraordinary danger… as does any woman with three sons, a husband, a menagerie of pets and a collection of swords that all of the above have a major fixation with. But when not running interference (or dashing off to the emergency room), she’s found chained to her computer where she likes to play with all her imaginary friends. With more than thirty million copies of her books in print, in over one hundred countries, she certainly has a lot of friends to play with.

Erotica- Eliza Knight is a USA Today bestselling author of sizzling historical romance and erotic romance. Under the name E. Knight, she pens riveting historical fiction. While not reading, writing or researching for her latest book, she chases after her three children. In her spare time (if there is such a thing…) she likes daydreaming, wine-tasting, traveling, hiking, staring at the stars, watching movies, shopping and visiting with family and friends. She lives atop a small mountain with her own knight in shining armor, three princesses and two very naughty puppies. Visit Eliza at http://www.elizaknight.com.

Indie- Robin Lee Behringer is a writer, teacher and lover of all things New England. She is from North Kingstown, Rhode Island and teaches eighth grade English. Yes, she teaches 100 thirteen year olds on a daily basis… and loves it! She was the Smithfield teacher of the year in 2014 and a top three candidate for Rhode Island Teacher of the Year. She holds a BA in English from Rhode Island College. She is an Anglophile who loves photography and interior design. A distant relative of Nathaniel Hawthorne, she has inherited his gene for good storytelling. Even a childhood filled with dysfunction has not changed her optimist spirit. Her Twitter handle is ThePlaylist @playlist_the.

Liliom- Mandi resides in Ohio, where she shares her workspace with an ornery bassle pup. In addition to writing, she runs an online storefront, a roleplaying website, and is a 3rd Degree High Priestess. She’s an avid reader and blogger, who adores music. Whenever there is a concert in town, you can bet she’s taking the night off and cheering on her favorite bands. She can easily be bribed with peanut butter M&Ms, gemstones, hot lead singers, and gargoyles. Visit her little home on the web at http://www.mandikonesni.com

Conclusion:

Createspace author Richard Ridley has this to say- In writing your author bio, remember: it is your calling card. It will travel with you on your books, online retail sites, social media, at personal appearances, and wherever you are trying to introduce yourself to readers. It is a major component of your brand, so spend some real time developing it. 

Liliom editors are happy to help our authors come up with a great, engaging biography to accent their work, using a questionnaire to get to know a little bit about you and highlight some interesting things you may not have even thought about as being unique. Above all, be yourself. If you can’t talk about yourself, talk about your work, why you love writing whatever genre you do. The author bio gives you a chance to show potential readers a little bit of yourself and get them interested in you as a writer. Your words are important, but as their creator and keeper, so are you.

 

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